STRAVINSKY: Le sacre du printemps. STRAVINSKY-STOKOWSKI: Pastorale. BACH-STOKOSKI:
Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Fugue in G minor. Passacaglia and Fugue in
RÖNTGEN: Cello Concerto No. 1, Cello Concerto No. 2, Cello
Concerto No. 3
TYBERG: Symphony No. 2 in F minor. Piano Sonata No. 2 in F sharp
RIISAGER: T -Doxc, Op. 13 (Mechanical Poem for Orchestra.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 14. Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 24. Primavera (Symhony
No. 3), Op.
Yet another new recording of Stravinsky's masterpiece, this one paying homage to Leopold Stokowski, who made the first American recording in 1929/30 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The orchgestra also recorded this music with Eugene Ormandy for Columbia (1855( and Riccardo Muti for EMI in 1981. Now the famed orchestra is directed by is dynamic young conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, As you would expect, this is a virtuoso performance by any standards; the most individual point is the very deliberate pacing of the 11 smashing chords introducing Glorification of the Chosen One (3:03 into track 10). The recordings were made in March 2013 in Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, a questionable venue for orchestral sound; most recordings made there have been disappointing sonically, and this new one is no exception. There is an antiseptic quality to the sound, a decided lack of resonance in strings, and while there are some rather spectacular bass-drum sounds, they are undefined and without impact. The four Stokowski transcriptions that fill out the disk fare a bit better sonically, but no one would choose this recording to display high fidelity sound.
Julius Röntgen (1865-1932) was born in German but spent most of is life in Amsterdam where he was prominent on the musical scene. He composed prolifically, his works including 25 symphonies, chamber and vocal pieces, and many concertos including 7 for the piano, 3 for the v violin ad 3 for the cello. Röntgen also was known for his folk song arrangements; in 1940 Willem Mengelberg recorded several of them with the Concertgebouw.
Austrian-born Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944) had a tragic life. It has been reported he committed suicide on the way to the Auschwitz death camps, cutting short his promising caree. Although his music was respected by his colleagues (Rafael Kubelik conducted the Czech Philharmonic in the premiere of Symphony No. 2 in the early 1930s), he never was recognized as an important composer. His music is virtually unknown, and now thanks to conductor JoAnn Falletta and Naxos, we have the opportunity to experience it. I missed a previous issue of Symphony No. 3 and the piano trio (Naxos 8.572236) but here is the Symphony No. 2 composed in 1927, a worthy addition to the symphonic repertory, broadly romantic, beautifully orchestrated, and music that deserves repeated hearing. The coupling is the second of Tyberg's two piano sonatas, this one written in 1934. It is a grand, big-scale work in four movements with majestic hints of Beethoven and Brahms, worthy of inclusion in any recital. This bold music is brilliantly played by Fabio Luisi. Falletta's devotion to the composer is obvious in this superb performance which finds the Buffalo Philharmonic in top form. Don't miss this important release!
This site praised a SACD of orchestra music of another unjustly neglected composer, Knudage Riisager, featuring the ballet Benzin in which the Danish composer clearly shows the influence of Rave and Debussy (REVIEW). Now we have another disk of orchestral music, this time on regular CD instead of SACD, with the Aarhus Symphony directed by Bo Holten. Not a dull moment here! We have two brief "symphonies," dating from 1927 and 1935 respectively, the first of which builds to a gargantuan climax. We also have a bright concerto for orchestra, a rather humorous concert overture, and T-Dox, an early work (1926) that gently suggests an aeroplane. The Aarus orchestra doesn't sound very large, but they are fine players. Beautiful performances, and excellent sonics. A fine disk!
R.E.B. (October 2013)